Friday, April 30, 2010

Check This Guy's Workouts

Ryan Kotula is a "madman".

You need to check out his workouts. This owner of Northern Tool + Equipment Inc. is a top broomball player. Broomball is basically ice hockey, but the players where sneakers and use a small inflatable ball. They also use a specially made "broom" instead of a hockey stick.

Kotula has quite a workout routine. He also does triathlons. He competed in seven last year, including a half Ironman event.

Check out his workouts and his philosophy. This article from Jen Murphy published in the Wall Street Journal is very intriguing.

You'll enjoy his work, particularly when he runs across a field with a parachute behind him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Importance Of Breakfast

Have you ever heard someone tell you "Breakfast is the most important meal" of the day.

I don't know about you, but if you enjoy eating like me, ALL meals are very important. That being said, breakfast does play an important role in your day, particularly if you're one who tends to exercise during those early morning hours. I know there are times following my morning workouts where I am just famished.

There's a reason for that - you're body has gobbled up needed fuel - duh! It really is that simple. According to this article by Nancy Clark for, you need to learn what to eat for breakfast to create the best benefit for you.

She has some great suggestions for healthy breakfast meals based on whether you are a morning, afternoon or evening exerciser. I also believe her suggestion that a solid breakfast prevents "binge" eating is true.

Check it out here --

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tips For Using The Weight Room

Don't start your resistance training exercises just yet.

If you just joined a gym or you're just getting back to a point where you're ready to work out with weights, don't start yet! At least, wait until you've had the chance to read this post from

This is a great post about proper warm up and technique along with some tips for getting started and avoiding injuries. Check it out before you hit the weights --

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The "Talk Test"

Many folks talk about "rate of perceived exertion" or RPE as a way to measure your level of output when exercising. A simple 1 through 10 methodology is used to measure RPE.

However, another practice, known as the "talk test" can also help you identify your RPE.

With the talk test, the goal is to work at a level where you can talk, but not comfortably carry on a conversation. If you have to take a breath between every word you say, you're working out too hard. On the other side of the extreme, you're probably not working hard enough if you can sing or carry on an active conversation with a workout partner.

Work at an intensity that allows you to breathe comfortably and rhythmically throughout all phases of your workout -- and talk! This will help you maintain a safe and comfortable level of exercise.

Check out this post from the Centers for Disease Control's website ( that offers more ways to measure workout intensity, including the talk test --

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Resistance Bands Can Replace Weights

In my last post, I discussed the benefits of using medicine balls. Another great tool for varying up your workouts is the resistance band.

I believe I've written about using resistance bands in the past, but it's worth repeating because they are so easy to use. These are elastic bands that you can use to perform a number of different resistance exercises in place of weights. Again, this changes up the mix of exercise. Plus, it involves minimal impact and injury risk.

Check these out as I've seen them priced as low as $2.95. They come in different rates of tension and you can easily travel with them.

Check out this post about resistance band exercises from -- Or you can try this workout from --

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Medicine Balls Make For Great Workout

Have you used a medicine ball in one of your workouts lately?

Don't forget about this great tool that allows you to vary up your exercises with some added work and strength. If you're regularly using free weights, try medicine balls as a way to change things up a bit.

Check out this set of sample medicine ball exercises at -- Here's another exercise demo from --

At varying weights, medicine balls are perfect for doing a variety of exercises with minimal impact.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Check Out This Baseball Site

I normally don't recommend sites simply marketing new products. But I've decided to make an exception here.

Most of this site is a ringing endorsement for the product being marketed. It's a training bat tool for baseball players at all levels, but check it out -

This was recommended by fellow blogger Michael LaChappelle. While it goes heavy into the Swing Maniac products, it has quite a bit of helpful baseball tutorial information and links on it as well.

Michael is a sports enthusiast and Boston Marathon qualifier and writes for the as well as his own blog

Friday, April 16, 2010

Use "Walking" To Tame Marathon

Believe it or not, walking may be your savior in an upcoming marathon.

I have not experimented with this approach, but many of my friends have told me how they have used walking strategies, not only to reduce the risk of injury, but to lower their times!

Check out this post from Jeff Galloway's blog - He discusses how some of his clients have used walk/run ratio strategies to lower their overall times.

It's certainly worth exploring if you're interested in lowering your time in the marathon event or just wanting to participate in one and lower the risks for pain.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Try Pilates

If you haven’t tried a pilate workout, you may be in for a treat.

Pilates would appear to be a relatively new exercise trend, but this system has been in existence since the 1920s. Pronounced "puh-LAH-teez," it is named after its developer, Joseph Pilates.

Pilates are much like yoga in that the exercises increase strength, flexibility and mobility, but you feel that you have really "worked out" following the exercises.

Most health clubs offer pilate options and there are many "pilate studios" that have crept up which specialize completely in pilate workout sessions.

Check out these two posts from and to learn more about what you’re missing -- and

Monday, April 12, 2010

Watch Out When You Wear Your Ipod

I'll bet you didn't know that wearing your Ipod could be so dangerous.

Unfortunately, this debate rose to the surface again recently when a man was struck and killed by a plane making an emergency landing on a Hilton Head, South Carolina beach.

The blog posted about this sad situation - It is a shame that such an innocent act can end so tragically, but these things can and do happen.

I'm not sure what the answer is. So many of us look to our music devices for motivation in our fitness activities. If nothing else, this post serves as a reminder to be more alert to your surroundings when you have your music plugs tuned in.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Means New Running Shoes

It's that time of year! You need new running shoes.

Spring is really starting to spring and you're moving your runs outdoors. It's a GREAT time of year. It gets you motivated to invest in the latest pair of Nikes or New Balances (or whatever brand you prefer!).

I've written on tips for purchasing running shoes in the past and Mike LaChappelle has some great tips at the Runner's Blog located on Check it out at

If you're inspired to purchase a new pair of running shoes, take these tips to heart. They could help you save some money, while ensuring you still maintain the quality of shoe you prefer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Great 'What's Your Workout' Feature

This recent "What's Your Workout" feature from Jen Murphy in the Wall Street Journal made all the sense in the world to me.

Murphy highlights the fitness habits of Hilary Schneider, a busy executive vice president with Yahoo. It's great because this woman is obviously busy balancing her work life and family, but she manages to do all of the right things to keep herself healthy.

Much of this seems like common sense as it walks through her mix of exercise, her discipline and her eating habits, but it's a worthwhile reminder.

So, check out Murphy's piece at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How To Fix A Flat

You are very afraid as you read this.

Imagine your worst fear (it's mine at least) as you're riding your bike. What is that fear? Of course, it's the fear of a flat tire!

The reality of this fear manifested itself for me on a trail about 25 miles from my home three years ago. Of course, I'm riding alone without a spare tube. NOT SMART! At least I've always had the sense to carry my mobile phone with me when I ride.

So, my point is - invest the small amount required for a flat repair kit and learn how to fix it. is loaded with instructional videos on how to fix a flat, but I thought this piece featuring triathlete Dave Scott was great --

Watching this video may save you from certain anguish from your significant other, if nothing else!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Don't Forget Your Core

Your core is an important emphasis of conditioning for your body. However, sometimes we forget.

Men in particular, overlook the value of core training. Many of the training activities in which women predominantly engage - cheerleading, dance, yoga and pilates, for example - all feature a core focus. However, effective core training helps create a balance where athletes stand tall and in better alignment. This is helpful to male and female athletes.

Check out Kevin Helliker's recent piece in the Wall Street Journal that discusses the value of training the core -- Additionally, check out these abdominal exercises for runners from at

You may find some great new training ideas.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Let's Tackle Youth Obesity

Not a topic that people are overly excited to discuss, but it's so important.

Obesity is costing our beloved country an estimated $147 billion annually! This is becoming a very real public health threat, that if not addressed, will only grow and continue to drain in costs.

What is potentially a more dangerous aspect of this problem is how it affects our youth. If we're not teaching children the value of healthy eating and exercise, certainly these tendencies will likely carry through to adulthood.

Recently, posted some great news on this front with what some in the soft drink industry are doing to help stem the problem -

I was also encouraged by the recent coverage from Newsweek on this topic and how First Lady Michelle Obama is tackling it head on. Check it out -

Everyone has a role in being more responsible about this issue.